Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Negative Reviews - When It Happens

(1:17) You work hard to maintain your facility, train employees, add amenities, and offer first rate service. Then a customer complains to the world with a negative review. Now what? Handle it properly and you can turn it into a positive. Follow these steps:

(1:08) 1. Take a deep breath. It's easy to feel defensive, even angry, when your reputation is challenged. Resist the impulse to threaten the review site or attack the reviewer. It will only create bad will, waste time, and have a negative result in the long run. If the review was incorrectly written about your marina, contact the review site. Any reputable site will fix that.

(0:57) 2. Gather information. Critically examine the review for truth. Discover what you can about the interaction to determine what went wrong and where you can improve. Negative reviews are valuable learning tools even though it can be difficult to see when it happens.

(0:49) 3. Decide if and how to respond. Communicate with the boater. Most customers welcome the opportunity to discuss their problem and admire a marina who is willing to work towards improvement. These interactions often lead to the customer changing their original rating.

(0:37) 4. Apologize. Write a sincere apology regardless of where the blame lies. This should be done even if you feel the review is unjustified. Let the boater know you're sorry their experience was unfavorable. But don't make an empty apology. If possible, try to make it right.

(0:27) 5. Wait for the community to respond. If you have done your work upfront there will be other positive reviews listed. If not, have faith in your happy customers. It is often the case that a negative review will prompt a marina's satisfied customers to chime in to defend the marina. This is far more powerful than any action you can take.

(0:15) 6. Don't fret. A good, honest, well-run marina will not be outdone by a single negative review. Focus on what you do well and learn as much as possible from what customers have to say to make the facility better.

(0:07) No person or business likes to hear negative feedback. But a negative review can help you improve your business and even rally the boating community behind your marina.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.